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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 04-25-2006, 07:07 AM   #1
Jeanette Lotz
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I have been doing CrossFit for about 5 weeks now (at a CrossFit facility, don't do the WODs here). I am wondering if I should add extra ab exercises and if so, how often? My instructor says that almost every exercise we do works the abs in some way or another but I kind of feel as though I am not working them enough....at least not in comparison to what I was doing before.
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:36 AM   #2
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first question you should ask yourself is what your goal is - do you want athletically functional abs, or trophies?

your instructor is correct in saying your abs are likely performing a considerable amount of work during non-ab-specific movements. is this enough to cause dramatic hypertrophy? possibly, depending on your genetics, but not likely. but that's the difference between functional abs and trophies.

if you want, drop in some more specific ab work, but make wise choices - hanging leg raises, hollow rocks, knee-to-elbows, etc. if i find out you're doing crunches, we're through.

also, don't become infatuated with your abs to the point of neglecting everything around them. doing a bunch of ab work without equal amounts of hip extension work is setting you up for serious problems.

in my experience, people invariably focus on one part of their bodies, asserting that it's underdeveloped, when in reality, the rest of their body is no more developed - they've just chosen a particular point on which to focus. so look at your game overall - do you have any other deficiencies? or are you perfect aside from your abs? unless the latter is true, i wouldn't worry too much.

bottom line: evaluate your training day-to-day and week-to-week and fill in the gaps if necessary.
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
David Wood
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Jeanette: Personally, I think your instructor is likely correct . . . a CrossFit program will (typically) work the abs very hard, but more in "midline stabilization" than the traditional "flexion" motions you're probably used to.

No one will stop you from doing more, and you ultimately have to decide for yourself. If you do, I would urge you to work on any and all of the following, briefly, after every workout:

L-hangs
L-sits (30 seconds hold is the minimum)
L-pullups
front lever
GHD full range situps
Overhead squats

L-hangs and L-sits are very good to do in a "grease the groove" style (multiple short bouts throughout the day) if you can arrange to do so.

If you can perform well on all of those, and are *still* not happy with your abs, I honestly think cleaning up the diet will be required.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
Jeanette Lotz
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Thanks guys....really good info.

Greg, what do you mean by hollow rocks and knees-to-elbows?
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:07 AM   #5
Jeanette Lotz
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never mind....I found them on the exercise section.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:43 AM   #6
Elliot Royce
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The CF warmup has abs as standard so shouldn't you be doing ab work every time you do CF? I try for 2-3 sets of 25 on an Ab Mat then usually throw in 1-2 sets of 15 on an Ab Bench. To just relax, I'll sometimes do the elbows to knee swingups (I call it the gorilla) as much as I can. Seems to keep the abs in tune.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
Mark Reinke
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The only sit-up or crunch I do is when I sit up in my bed in the morning. Good points Greg!

mark
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